Posted by Robert Half Technology on Monday, January 20, 2014 - 08:00 | Follow me
Are you a new college graduate who wants to be CIO of Nike before you’re 30? Someone who left college before graduating but loves programming? A hard worker who fills your spare time by blogging and writing code? If any of those describe you, here’s a great job opportunity: become a desktop support technician.
With projected starting salaries increasing, the desktop support technician is an early-stage job with good opportunities for growth. Starting compensation for help desk managers also is projected to rise. Read on for more information about a typical desktop support technician position.
Desktop support technician: the job
What You Need to Know
All desktop support technicians need great communication, interpersonal and problem-solving skills, along with patience, a customer-friendly attitude and the ability to work in a team environment. In addition, you need a strong technical understanding of the hardware, software and networking systems being supported.
What You Need to Have
Requirements depend on the help desk position level. Entry-level positions (Help Desk Tier 1) usually require less than two years of work experience. Mid-level positions (Help Desk Tier 2) call for two to four years of experience, some desktop support experience and sometimes a degree.
Tier 3 positions – the last stop before desktop support analyst – usually require four years of help desk experience, a bachelor’s degree in an IT-related field and some kind of professional certification.
What You’ll Do
Depending on your level within the desktop support hierarchy, your day will vary. Initially, you’ll log and handle inquiries and troubleshoot relatively simple hardware, software or network problems. You’ll escalate more difficult issues to more experienced people.
Eventually, you’ll be the one who tackles difficult problems, even those others have been unable to resolve. Analyzing trends in issue reporting and devising preventive solutions will be part of your job, as well as mentoring junior technicians.
Keep in mind the field is constantly evolving, which means you'll have to keep up with industry changes and update your skills to remain relevant.
How do I get there?
These tips will move you closer to a job as a desktop support technician:
- Be a tech generalist; know a lot about many areas of IT.
- Pick up tech skills on your own; play around with new languages and programs.
- Blog about your tech knowledge and experience, or engage other blog writers in the comments section.
- Participate in user forums for the IT areas you are most interested in.
- Use a full range of job search tools, including telling people you know that you are looking for a desktop support technician job.
Where will it take me?
Many of today’s best jobs require sky-high qualifications to get in the door. Starting as a desktop support technician is one of the higher-paying jobs you can get without advanced degrees. It's also a great way to break into the tech industry.
For more information about help desk/desktop support technician starting salary or help desk/desktop support manager starting salary, check out the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide.